African Grey Parrots are a favorite among bird lovers because they are incredibly intelligent, making them super fun and talented. Not to mention, they have a striking appearance that makes them stand out from the crowd.
Like many other exotic birds, African Grey Parrots are expensive, both in one-time costs and recurring monthly payments. If you were to get an African Grey Parrot, you have to be prepared for this lifetime financial commitment.
Ask any current African Grey Parrot owner, and they will tell you that the price is well worth it for these intelligent, graceful, and curious creatures. Let’s take a look at all of the costs associated with African Grey Parrot ownership.
Bringing Home a New African Grey Parrot: One-Time Costs
Whenever you first get the African Grey Parrot, there are a number of one-time costs you will have to pay for. The first year of ownership is by far the most expensive because of these one-time costs. The bird will be the most expensive item on this list.
If you are expecting to find an African Grey Parrot for free, we are sorry to inform you that this dream is not rooted in reality. It is next to impossible to find these birds for free. You can look online, but you will likely not find anything.
You may be able to find a previously owned African Grey Parrot for adoption. Many times, people buy one of these birds, only to find out they do not have the resources or time to commit to it.
Adopting an African Grey Parrot is much more affordable than buying one from a breeder, but it is still a good price to pay. At least you are buying a parrot that needs a good home and is already accustomed to humans.
If you want a best-in-class African Grey Parrot, you will need to buy one from a breeder. Breeder prices will be more expensive, but they often offer free shipping, travel cage, and toys with the bird.
The exact price of the bird will depend on type, age, gender, etc. Shop around to find an African Grey Parrot that fits your budget.
Initial Setup and Supplies
In addition to the bird itself, you will need to set up its cage and home. We recommend buying a new parrot cage instead of a used one to avoid spread of diseases (unless it was your bird’s cage from the previous owner). A good parrot cage that is of adequate size for the African Grey Parrot costs $120.
You also need to buy things to go inside the cage, such as stainless steel bowls, perches, wood, transportation, licenses and permits. If you are bringing the parrot into the United States, you will have to pay an import permit fee too, which can cost between $111 and $565.
You will likely have to pay for a health certificate as well. To do this, a veterinarian will have to perform an evaluation. The health certificate price will depend on the vet you go to.
List of African Grey Parrot Care Supplies and Costs
|Cage Setup Items (like Perches)||$20-$50|
|Transportable Cage||Often free with purchase of the bird; $80 otherwise|
|Food and Water Bowls||$10|
How Much Does an African Grey Parrot Cost Per Month?
Just like any other pet, there are monthly fees associated with African Grey Parrots.
Luckily, these birds are not as expensive as dogs or cats to care for on the monthly basis. You primarily only need to provide them food, entertainment, and health care if necessary.
The only time monthly expenses should be high is if your African Grey Parrot gets sick and requires veterinarian attention. It is for this reason we highly recommend exotic pet insurance.
The key to a healthy African Grey Parrot is a healthy diet, physical stimulation, and mental stimulation. If you provide the right food and a clean cage, the African Grey Parrot should be healthy.
That being said, you do need to take the bird to an exotic vet annual checkup. In a best case scenario, you should only pay between $100 and $250 a year for your parrot’s health care. You shouldn’t have to pay for it monthly, unless it is old or sick.
The obvious monthly expense is the African Grey Parrot’s food. The average monthly grocery bill for your African Grey Parrot is between $45 and $70 a month. This is about the same price as feeding a cat or dog per month, maybe less for larger dog breeds.
About 80% of your parrot’s diet should come from pellets. The remaining 20% should come from the occasional fruits and vegetables for treats and vitamins. Occasionally, you can feed grains, seeds, and nuts.
Medications and Vet Visits
If your African Grey Parrot gets sick, health care prices can go up a bit since these birds are very unique. Emergency care for these birds typically costs between $300 and $1,200, depending on the illness.
Keep in mind that you have to pay for the individual vet visit as well. Most exotic vets charge between $100 and $250 for a single visit.
If you spent the time and money to purchase an African Grey Parrot, we highly recommend pet insurance. It will likely cost between $200 and $400 a year. That comes out to about $20 to $40 a month.
You could also create a savings account for your parrot. This savings account will help out whenever your parrot gets injured, yet it doesn’t require you to pay an insurance company either. Either way, definitely have a backup for when you bird gets sick!
One large expense that you probably haven’t thought about is entertainment. African Grey Parrots are incredibly intelligent. As a result, they need entertainment to stay stimulated. If you do not provide enough mental stimulation, these birds will become depressed and destructive.
Unfortunately, the birds will likely destroy the toys while they’re playing with them. So, you will need to buy knew parrot toys frequently. It is a large expense, but it is a necessary one.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning an African Grey Parrot
As you can see, owning an African Grey Parrot isn’t that much more expensive than owning a dog. In fact, it is likely more affordable. Assuming that the parrot is healthy, you probably won’t pay any more than $200 a month. However, prices skyrocket if the bird gets sick or injured.
It is because of the high vet and medical prices that pet insurance is recommended for these birds. At the very least, open up a savings account for a rainy day.
Additional Costs to Factor In
In addition to regular monthly prices, there are other expenses you need to think about. For example, you will need to board your bird whenever you go on vacation. If you are lucky, you may have a friend who knows how to care for birds. However, this is risky. We recommend paying for vacation boarding instead.
Owning an African Grey Parrot on a Budget
If you are on a tight budget, buying an African Grey Parrot may not be the best place to start. After all, these birds are very expensive initially. However, there are ways that you can save money during the original purchase.
For example, you can adopt a grown African Grey Parrot who needs to be rehomed. This is a great way to adopt a bird in need without paying a fortune. Most likely, the original owner will be more than happy to provide you with the bird’s cage and toys.
Saving Money on African Grey Parrot Care
Because it is already so affordable to own an African Grey Parrot on the monthly basis, it is hard to cut the monthly price down even more. However, it can be more affordable if you are really diligent in shopping for sales.
For example, food is a huge expense. Use coupons or deals to get food at more affordable prices. This is especially a great option for the fresh fruits and vegetables you feed to your parrots.
Additionally, pet insurance really is a must with a bird of this type. If the bird gets sick or injured, monthly prices skyrocket. Although paying a monthly bill may be annoying, it really is the best way to protect yourself.
Whenever you first buy an African Grey Parrot, expect to put out a lot of money initially. The bird itself can cost up to $4000. Meanwhile, the other initial first time expenses can cost up to $700.
Luckily, the monthly expenses for an African Grey Parrot are much more affordable. You will likely pay around $200, unless the bird gets sick. If the bird get sick, you will likely have to pay much more per month. We recommend getting exotic pet insurance to cover yourself in the case that should happen.
Featured Image Credit: TheOtherKev, Pixabay
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.